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32
Determining Possible and Necessary Winners under Common Voting Rules Given Partial Orders
"... Usually a voting rule or correspondence requires agents to give their preferences as linear orders. However, in some cases it is impractical for an agent to give a linear order over all the alternatives. It has been suggested to let agents submit partial orders instead. Then, given a profile of part ..."
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Cited by 46 (13 self)
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Usually a voting rule or correspondence requires agents to give their preferences as linear orders. However, in some cases it is impractical for an agent to give a linear order over all the alternatives. It has been suggested to let agents submit partial orders instead. Then, given a profile of partial orders and a candidate c, two important questions arise: first, is c guaranteed to win, and second, is it still possible for c to win? These are the necessary winner and possible winner problems, respectively. We consider the setting where the number of alternatives is unbounded and the votes are unweighted. We prove that for Copeland, maximin, Bucklin, and ranked pairs, the possible winner problem is NPcomplete; also, we give a sufficient condition on scoring rules for the possible winner problem to be NPcomplete (Borda satisfies this condition). We also prove that for Copeland and ranked pairs, the necessary winner problem is coNPcomplete. All the hardness results hold even when the number of undetermined pairs in each vote is no more than a constant. We also present polynomialtime algorithms for the necessary winner problem for scoring rules, maximin, and Bucklin.
AI’s war on manipulation: Are we winning?
 AI MAGAZINE
"... We provide an overview of more than two decades of work, mostly in AI, that studies computational complexity as a barrier against manipulation in elections. ..."
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Cited by 32 (5 self)
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We provide an overview of more than two decades of work, mostly in AI, that studies computational complexity as a barrier against manipulation in elections.
A Multivariate Complexity Analysis of Determining Possible Winners Given Incomplete Votes
"... The POSSIBLE WINNER problem asks whether some distinguished candidate may become the winner of an election when the given incomplete votes are extended into complete ones in a favorable way. POSSIBLE WINNER is NPcomplete for common voting rules such as Borda, many other positional scoring rules, Bu ..."
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Cited by 27 (9 self)
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The POSSIBLE WINNER problem asks whether some distinguished candidate may become the winner of an election when the given incomplete votes are extended into complete ones in a favorable way. POSSIBLE WINNER is NPcomplete for common voting rules such as Borda, many other positional scoring rules, Bucklin, Copeland etc. We investigate how three different parameterizations influence the computational complexity of POSSIBLE WINNER for a number of voting rules. We show fixedparameter tractability results with respect to the parameter “number of candidates ” but intractability results with respect to the parameter “number of votes”. Finally, we derive fixedparameter tractability results with respect to the parameter “total number of undetermined candidate pairs ” and identify an interesting polynomialtime solvable special case for Borda. 1
Eliciting singlepeaked preferences using comparison queries
 In Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
, 2007
"... Voting is a general method for aggregating the preferences of multiple agents. Each agent ranks all the possible alternatives, and based on this, an aggregate ranking of the alternatives (or at least a winning alternative) is produced. However, when there are many alternatives, it is impractical to ..."
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Cited by 26 (4 self)
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Voting is a general method for aggregating the preferences of multiple agents. Each agent ranks all the possible alternatives, and based on this, an aggregate ranking of the alternatives (or at least a winning alternative) is produced. However, when there are many alternatives, it is impractical to simply ask agents to report their complete preferences. Rather, the agents’ preferences, or at least the relevant parts thereof, need to be elicited. This is done by asking the agents a (hopefully small) number of simple queries about their preferences, such as comparison queries, which ask an agent to compare two of the alternatives. Prior work on preference elicitation in voting has focused on the case of unrestricted preferences. It has been shown that in this setting, it is sometimes necessary to ask each agent (almost) as many queries as would be required to determine an arbitrary ranking of the alternatives. In contrast, in this paper, we focus on singlepeaked preferences. We show that such preferences can be elicited using only a linear number of comparison queries, if either the order with respect to which preferences are singlepeaked is known, or at least one other agent’s complete preferences are known. We show that using a sublinear number of queries does not suffice. We also consider the case of cardinally singlepeaked preferences. For this case, we show that if the alternatives ’ cardinal positions are known, then an agent’s preferences can be elicited using only a logarithmic number of queries; however, we also show that if the cardinal positions are not known, then a sublinear number of queries does not suffice. We present experimental results for all elicitation algorithms. We also consider the problem of only eliciting enough information to determine the aggregate ranking, and show that even for this more modest objective, a sublinear number of queries per agent does not suffice for known ordinal or unknown cardinal positions. Finally, we discuss whether and how these techniques can be applied when preferences are almost singlepeaked. 1 1
Towards a dichotomy of finding possible winners in elections based on scoring rules
 In Proc. 34th MFCS, volume 5734 of LNCS
, 2009
"... Abstract. To make a joint decision, agents (or voters) are often required to provide their preferences as linear orders. To determine a winner, the given linear orders can be aggregated according to a voting protocol. However, in realistic settings, the voters may often only provide partial orders. ..."
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Cited by 17 (2 self)
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Abstract. To make a joint decision, agents (or voters) are often required to provide their preferences as linear orders. To determine a winner, the given linear orders can be aggregated according to a voting protocol. However, in realistic settings, the voters may often only provide partial orders. This directly leads to the POSSIBLE WINNER problem that asks, given a set of partial votes, if a distinguished candidate can still become a winner. In this work, we consider the computational complexity of POSSIBLE WINNER for the broad class of voting protocols defined by scoring rules. A scoring rule provides a score value for every position which a candidate can have in a linear order. Prominent examples include plurality, kapproval, and Borda. Generalizing previous NPhardness results for some special cases and providing new manyone reductions, we settle the computational complexity for all but one scoring rule. More precisely, for an unbounded number of candidates and unweighted voters, we show that POSSIBLE WINNER is NPcomplete for all pure scoring rules except plurality, veto, and the scoring rule defined by the scoring vector (2,1,..., 1, 0), while it is solvable in polynomial time for plurality and veto. 1
Swap bribery
, 2009
"... Abstract. In voting theory, bribery is a form of manipulative behavior in which an external actor (the briber) offers to pay the voters to change their votes in order to get her preferred candidate elected. We investigate a model of bribery where the price of each vote depends on the amount of chang ..."
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Cited by 14 (4 self)
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Abstract. In voting theory, bribery is a form of manipulative behavior in which an external actor (the briber) offers to pay the voters to change their votes in order to get her preferred candidate elected. We investigate a model of bribery where the price of each vote depends on the amount of change that the voter is asked to implement. Specifically, in our model the briber can change a voter’s preference list by paying for a sequence of swaps of consecutive candidates. Each swap may have a different price; the price of a bribery is the sum of the prices of all swaps that it involves. We prove complexity results for this model, which we call swap bribery, for a broad class of voting rules, including variants of approval and kapproval, Borda, Copeland, and maximin. 1
The shield that never was: Societies with singlepeaked preferences are more open to manipulation and control
 In Proceedings of the 12th Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge
, 2009
"... Much work has been devoted, during the past twenty years, to using complexity to protect elections from manipulation and control. Many results have been obtained showing NPhardness shields, and recently there has been much focus on whether such worstcase hardness protections can be bypassed by fre ..."
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Cited by 14 (6 self)
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Much work has been devoted, during the past twenty years, to using complexity to protect elections from manipulation and control. Many results have been obtained showing NPhardness shields, and recently there has been much focus on whether such worstcase hardness protections can be bypassed by frequently correct heuristics or by approximations. This paper takes a very different approach: We argue that when electorates follow the canonical political science model of societal preferences the complexity shield never existed in the first place. In particular, we show that for electorates having singlepeaked preferences, many existing NPhardness results on manipulation and control evaporate. 1
Towards a Dichotomy for the Possible Winner Problem in Elections Based on Scoring Rules
, 2010
"... To make a joint decision, agents (or voters) are often required to provide their preferences as linear orders. To determine a winner, the given linear orders can be aggregated according to a voting protocol. However, in realistic settings, the voters may often only provide partial orders. This direc ..."
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Cited by 12 (0 self)
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To make a joint decision, agents (or voters) are often required to provide their preferences as linear orders. To determine a winner, the given linear orders can be aggregated according to a voting protocol. However, in realistic settings, the voters may often only provide partial orders. This directly leads to the POSSIBLE WINNER problem that asks, given a set of partial votes, whether a distinguished candidate can still become a winner. In this work, we consider the computational complexity of POSSIBLE WINNER for the broad class of voting protocols defined by scoring rules. A scoring rule provides a score value for every position which a candidate can have in a linear order. Prominent examples include plurality, kapproval, and Borda. Generalizing previous NPhardness results for some special cases, we settle the computational complexity for all but one scoring rule. More precisely, for an unbounded number of candidates and unweighted voters, we show that POSSIBLE WINNER is NPcomplete for all pure scoring rules except plurality, veto, and the scoring rule defined by the scoring vector (2, 1,...,1, 0), while it is solvable in polynomial time for plurality and veto.
Practical voting rules with partial information
 AUTON AGENT MULTIAGENT SYST
, 2010
"... Voting is an essential mechanism that allows multiple agents to reach a joint decision. The joint decision, representing a function over the preferences of all agents, is the winner among all possible (candidate) decisions. To compute the winning candidate, previous work has typically assumed that ..."
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Cited by 11 (0 self)
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Voting is an essential mechanism that allows multiple agents to reach a joint decision. The joint decision, representing a function over the preferences of all agents, is the winner among all possible (candidate) decisions. To compute the winning candidate, previous work has typically assumed that voters send their complete set of preferences for computation, and in fact this has been shown to be required in the worst case. However, in practice, it may be infeasible for all agents to send a complete set of preferences due to communication limitations and willingness to keep as much information private as possible. The goal of this paper is to empirically evaluate algorithms to reduce communication on various sets of experiments. Accordingly, we propose an iterative algorithm that allows the agents to send only part of their preferences, incrementally. Experiments with simulated and realworld data show that this algorithm results in an average of 35 % savings in communications, while guaranteeing that the actual winning candidate is revealed. A second algorithm applies a greedy heuristic to save up to 90 % of communications. While this heuristic algorithm cannot guarantee that a true winning candidate is found, we show that in practice, close approximations are obtained.